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Nonlinear modeling of vibrational energy harvesters for smart prostheses

Morgado, M. Luísa; Morgado, L. F., ; Henriques, E.; Silva, N.; Santos. P.; Santos, M. P.; Ferreira, J. A.; Reis, M.; Morais, R.

Procedia Engineering; 26th European Conference on Solid-State Transducers (EUROSENSOR 2012), 47 (2012), 1089-1092

We present a nonlinear mathematical model for a low-size and micro-power vibrational energy harvester targeted to power smart prostheses and in particular hip prostheses. Constraints such as available volume, allowable total weight and energy transducer mechanism difficult the development of an optimal generator system, especially considering the low frequencies involved in the human gait. Since non-linear behavior often conducts to better experimental results than those obtained using linear models, a nonlinear model is being pursued to reduce the volume of the generator and maximize performance. By including the non-linear effects of magnetic levitation used to suspend the inertial mass, influence of friction and effects of inductor non-idealities, preliminary results indicate better generator's performance prediction which allows a more effective customization of the energy harvester.